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Wondering what to read next? With the thousands of books on the WORDsearch site, it can be tough to decide on what book to add to your library. But we’re here to help! Today’s Staff Pick highlights one of our employee’s favorite books. And don’t miss the special discount, plus an excerpt of the commentary on John, at the end of this post just for stopping by!
*spoken in my best Jerry Seinfeld voice* “What’s the deeeeaaal with Islam?”
If you’re like me, the religion of Islam really didn’t appear on your radar until that most fateful morning of September 11, 2001. In the years that followed, my personal view of Muslims and Islam in general was largely shaped by what I saw on the Internet and the nightly news. To say that the information I was ingesting was one-sided would be putting it nicely. I was aware of this to some degree but I didn’t care. As far as I was concerned the religion of Islam had traveled halfway across the globe and touched my life in a way I could never have imagined. You can be sure that I truly felt this curious faith deserved every ignorant ill-informed opinion I held!
I can happily say that 14 years later I have changed quite a bit! In fact, if 32-year-old Marvin could go back and speak to 18-year-old Marvin, I’m certain he could soothe those ruffled feathers (and perhaps offer some sage financial advice, but that’s an article for another time). However, even with a cooler, more tolerant head, I still found myself ignorant of and confused by Islam. Over the past few years, I’ve done a fair amount digging around on the Internet and have endeavored to educate myself on the topic at least somewhat. I have no intention of becoming a scholar, but as the national conversation becomes more prevalent, I feel it behooves me to at least have a cursory knowledge of the subject.
Enter, the book Islam and America: Answers to the 31 Most Asked Questions. After I read the preface (see excerpt below) I felt like this book was written just for people like me!
Some have said that Islam is a peaceful religion. Some have said that only a few misled and misinformed Muslims have acted in violence. Some have said that Islam is being attacked and Muslims are being denigrated. Some have said that Islam is in a battle with the Judaic-Christian West for supremacy.
Americans are puzzled. And they ask questions. If Islam is a peaceful and freedom-loving religion, why is Saudi Arabia, the premier Sunni Muslim nation, such a seedbed of militant Islam, an Islam which castigates the Western Christian world and which grows up and sends its militants around the world to spread its ultraconservative Islam as well as wound and kill others whom it hates? If Islam is such a peaceful and freedom-loving religion, why has Iran, the premier Shiite Muslim nation, for the last twenty-five years under the aegis and influence of Ayatollah Khomeini launched its jihad across world cultures, often resulting in violence and death?
Often what Americans know about Islam is what they see in mass media and what they read in print about Islam in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza, the happenings in Israel, the Sudan, Indonesia, Philippines, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Europe, and the United States. Thus, their questions are serious, and they seek answers that are understandable.
George W. Braswell does a terrific job of covering the basic tenets of Islam as they relate to Christianity and American culture in general. He also doesn’t shy away from some of the more in-depth and even controversial topics. Things like:
Do Muslims believe Jesus is as important as Muhammad?
Can Islam and America exist within democracy?
What does Jihad have to do with peace?
Perhaps you’re like me and simply looking for more knowledge and understanding on what seems like the complex and confusing topic of Islam? Perhaps it simply interests you. Either way, I can’t recommend Islam and America highly enough.
-Marvin Smith is an e-book developer at WORDsearch.
Read something that has inspired you lately? Share with us in the comments!